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Lady Dogg golfer is ready for the future

Barrow MVP

POSTED: June 14, 2014 12:00 p.m.
Photo Courtesy Roger Adams/

Rainbolt drives during the region tournament.

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The Winder-Barrow Lady Doggs golf team wrapped up one of their best seasons in recent memory this year with a team trip to the state event in Augusta and a top-10 finish in Class-AAAAA women’s golf. For one young lady on the team, getting to spend the full extent of the season with her team was all the reward she could ask for.

Savannah Rainbolt led the 2014 Lady Doggs with scores consistently in the mid- to low-80s and was just two strokes behind the low medalist at sectionals with an 83.

 “Our goal this year was to make it to state as a team, and going into sectionals as a team was a great accomplishment for us and having a chance to go to state as a team was phenomenal,” Savannah Rainbolt, the leading scorer for the Winder-Barrow Lady Doggs golf team, acknowledged.

As exciting as all of those accomplishments are for Rainbolt and for her team, the real draw for this young talent is what golf means to her personally.

“As a kid, I always played with my grandpa. He’s the one who really got me started, and I never took interest until he took me out and got me interested in the game,” Rainbolt said.

Rainbolt’s grandfather, Roger Adams, constantly supports his granddaughter by showing up for tournaments and serving as president of the Winder-Barrow golf booster club. 

“I’ve been given a lot of good advice and most of it comes from my grandfather. It takes a lot of patience to play. When you go out, you don’t need to worry so much about what you’re shooting so much as the shot you’re about to take, and having the confidence knowing you can pull it off,” Rainbolt explained. “That’s what you practice for, the moment you play in tournaments. You can always get better and it will all work out in the end, so you have to be patient with yourself.”

While Adams is the one who got Rainbolt started in golf, he is far from the only person to make the game as important as it is to her. According to Rainbolt, her teammates had a large part in making her high school career, and this season in particular, as enjoyable as it has been.

“It means a lot to me to be able to lead such a great team of girls like I was with this year. We got a lot closer this year, and they’re just a lot of fun to be with,” Rainbolt mentioned. “I’ve played with a bunch of great girls in the past, but this year being around people who care so much about you and want to see you succeed in your golf career was great.”

Rainbolt and her teammates enjoy spending time together and playing together so much that they have even managed to take in a few tee times together since the state competition in Augusta. In fact, Rainbolt was joined by the other three leading shooters on her team, Britt Pentecost, Courtney Grovogel and Meghan Bramblett, at this year’s Greeson Open to benefit the Winder-Barrow High School football program.

The teammates also spend time together outside the links doing whatever comes to mind that day.

“We play a lot of golf together, but we also do normal teenage things. We go to the movies together. We go out to dinner together a lot. We spend the night at each other’s houses a lot,” Rainbolt listed. “We just like to hang out together.”

For Rainbolt, the game of golf would be meaningless without the people involved.  

“Honestly, if I didn’t have the relationships I have with my coaches, my family and my friends, I don’t think I’d be as serious about golf because I don’t think there would be the same meaning around that makes it such a big part of my life,” Rainbolt admitted.

While there are countless hobbyist golfers in the world who enjoy the purely recreational aspect of the sport despite their short comings off the tee box, Rainbolt has an opportunity to enjoy the game on another level entirely, both as a high school athlete and beyond. For her, golf is a vital part of life and a potential pathway for her future.

“Ever since I was a freshman, I couldn’t wait to play college golf. That’s something I really look forward to doing in the next couple years. I’ve always wanted to play college golf. That’ll be a great experience,” Rainbolt acknowledged.

At this time, Rainbolt hopes to have selected a college by the middle of this next year. Ideally, that decision would take her to a Division I school. 

“I’ve recently started sending out letters to colleges. I’m just now getting to where coaches can start talking to me, so I’m just now exploring those options,” Rainbolt acknowledged. “D1 would be great, but you never know. I may end up going to a lower end D1 school or a higher end D2 school.”

Although college obviously comes first, the Lady Dogg has also given some thought to her life beyond academia. Oddly enough, that life may or may not find her right back in the hallowed halls of higher education.

“Obviously, anybody would dream of going pro. That would be awesome,” Rainbolt admitted, while in the same breath mentioning her ideal back-up plan. “One thing I would love to do is coach golf. I would love to coach a college golf team. That is a really big dream of mine.”

Before any of that happens, though, Rainbolt gets one more chance at cementing her legacy as a great Lady Dogg golfer with her senior season at Winder-Barrow. No matter what the future holds for Rainbolt, though, the odds are good that golf will have a prominent place in her story.

“I love to play, but the mental aspect of it challenges me and makes me want to be better every day knowing that, while some days are better than others, you can always get better and you can always do so much with golf,” Rainbolt explained. “You can play golf your entire life and always get better, and you can go so many places with golf.”

 

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